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Nelson Mandela’s Legacy Inspires South Africans to Push for Justice in Gaza

by Thaabit Kamaar


Johannesburg – More than a month has passed since South Africa brought Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for its genocide, crimes, and atrocities in Gaza.

Despite the Hague’s directives, which include taking measures to prevent genocidal acts, stopping genocide incitement, and ensuring essential services and humanitarian aid in Gaza, Israel, an Apartheid state, has done the opposite. Rather than complying with the court’s rulings, Israel has not only continued its bombardment of Gaza but has also escalated it.

There is no contradiction or concealment of the intent to invade Rafah, home to over half of the displaced population in the area, even in the face of international pressure from their allies urging restraint. This suggests that the Israeli government’s objectives extend beyond eradicating Hamas to targeting the entire Palestinian population across all their territories.

During the Shabbat Against Genocide event hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and South African Jews for a Free Palestine, Advocate Adila Hassim criticised Israel and its allies’ justification for self-defence by highlighting that the indiscriminate killing of children is indefensible both under international law and morally.

“28,340 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, including at least 12,300 children. The scale of death is staggering. Israel, of course, has a right to defend itself, but it has no right [to kill] as if Palestinian life has no value. That all Palestinians, including children, are killable on the spot.”

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Ubuntu and the Legacy of Mandela Compels Us to Fight Against Injustice

One of the featured speakers at the event was Justice Minister Ronald Lamola. Addressing a diverse audience comprising individuals from various backgrounds, racial groups, and creeds, Lamola called upon all South Africans’ sentiments and collective spirits, by stating that our Ubuntu transcends national boundaries as it calls for the respect and dignity for all people, regardless of where they are in the world.

Hence, as South Africans, Ubuntu encourages us to fight injustices globally, whether in Africa, the Middle East, or other parts of the world.

“Ubuntu teaches us that we are all interconnected and that our actions have ripple effects on others. It emphasises the importance of empathy, compassion, respect and dignity for every individual.”

Emphasising this commitment and aligning with the values inherited from Nelson Mandela, Lamola asserted that we will strive to urge the ICJ and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hold those responsible for the atrocities in Gaza accountable.

“There should be a just solution for the people of Palestine that is equitable to all citizens. There must be a stop to the genocide. We must appeal to the conscience of the international community to call for a stop to the genocide happening in Gaza.”

In light of Israel’s ongoing genocidal rhetoric and its expressed intention to invade Rafah, Lamola conveyed that the government has urged the ICJ to take prompt action without waiting for the completion of all case processes. He stressed the urgency and the potentially catastrophic dangers to Palestinian lives in the area if such an attack were to occur.

While we are currently witnessing genocide unfolding in reel-time worldwide, and there may be a sense of despair in global institutions meant to prevent such atrocities, we must persist in collective action and foster global solidarity. We must actively advocate for an end to the genocide and the accountability of those responsible.

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